Brian J. Bruya

A photo of Brian Bruya


History and Philosophy

On leave 2021-22 

734.487.0419 (email preferred)

[email protected]


  • Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Hawaii, 2004
  • MA, Philosophy, University of Hawaii, 1999
  • BA, Philosophy and Chinese Language and Literature, 1992

Interests and Expertise

Research Interests
  • Chinese and comparative philosophy
  • philosophy of action
  • philosophical psychology
  • aesthetics.

For more information, please visit his website.


  • PHIL 110 Philosophies of Life
  • PHIL 215 Philosophy of Religion
  • PHIL 291 Introduction to Asian Philosophy
  • PHIL 379 Topics: American Pragmatism
  • PHIL 379 Topics: Philosophy of Action
  • PHIL 391 Early Chinese Philosophy
  • PHIL 442 Philosophy of Mind
  • PHIL 591 Topics in Chinese Philosophy: Daoism

Publications and Presentations

Selected Publications
  • "The Tacit Rejection of Multiculturalism in American Philosophy Ph.D. Programs: The Case of Chinese Philosophy," Dao, vol. 14, no. 3, 2015 The Philosophical Challenge from China, MIT Press, 2015
  • "Action without Agency and Natural Human Action: Resolving a Double Paradox," in The Philosophical Challenge from China, 2015
  • "The Cognitive Science of Wu Wei" Journal of Chinese Philosophy and Culture, No. 9, 2011 Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action, MIT Press, 2010
  • "The Rehabilitation of Spontaneity: A New Approach in Philosophy of Action" Philosophy East and West, 2010
  • "Education and Responsiveness: On the Agency of Intersubjectivity" in Educations and Their Purposes, 2008
  • "Review of Text and Ritual in Early China," China Review International, 2007/2008
  • "Schools that 'Flow,'" Education Week, 2006
  • More of Bruya's Publications. 
  • Aesthetic Spontaneity: A Theory of Action Based on Affective Responsiveness
Recent Professional Presentations
  • "The Relation Between Three-Dimensional Wisdom and Perceived Stress: Findings from Cross-Linked Models (co-authored with Monika Ardelt), Society for the Study of Human Development, Austin, 2015
  • "Marcus Aurelius, Confucius, and the Elements of Wisdom: Preliminary Steps to a Theory of Wisdom Pedagogy," Third China-Greek International Academic Conference on Philosophy, Qufu, China, 2015
  • "Category Ontology in Comparative Philosophy: Vertical Integration, Wu-Wei, and Flow," American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, Vancouver, 2015
  • "What is Effortlessness?" Star Lecture Series, Eastern Michigan University, 2015
  • "Natural Human Action," Department of Philosophy, National Taiwan University, 2013
  • "Ziran, Wu Wei, and the Science of Effortless Attention: Putting Ancient Chinese Philosophy in a Contemporary Context" Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 2012
  • "Nature, Self, and Artifice: On the Divisibility of the Self in Action and Aesthetics" (2012 University of Michigan Tang Junyi Lecture) Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 2012
  • "Action and the Divisibility of the Self: Recent Psychological Evidence for a New Distinction"  Department of Philosophy, University of New Mexico, 2012
  • "Action and the Divisibility of the Self: Recent Psychological Evidence for a New Distinction" Department of Philosophy, Oakland University, 2011
  • More of Bruya's Presentations.